*1/2 (out of ****)
Killing Season, directed by Mark Steven Johnson (Daredevil, Ghost Rider), and starring Robert DeNiro and John Travolta, is a film about two sexagenarian actors desperately trying to remain virile and relevant as they pad their mutual fund accounts. In order to make the crass affair more palatable there is a vague semblance of a story. In short, it’s about Travolta trying to kill DeNiro and vice versa. In between failing to kill each other (and oh how they fail!) there is much dialogue chewing and overly dramatic soliloquies about war and death and darkness that have all the gravitas of a sputtering hot air balloon, slowly deflating into nothingness. The run of the mill script aside, let us discuss the more ancillary qualities of the film that launch it into the truly awful.
Look at that fucking beard / chin strap. What is that thing? It looks like someone was intimidated into surgically removed Travolta’s taint hair, rolling it into a pube-snake, and plastering it to his face. To add to the absurdity, he is supposed to play some sort of Serbian war criminal but the entire time he sounds like Borat. Now that I think of it, Travolta has been doing this in all his recent movies. Really shitty facial hair is his one step process to portraying a bad guy. I submit:
Exhibit B: Taking Pelham 123. Travolta adopts leather bar look.
Exhibit C: He adds a cum-catcher.
Don’t even get me started with DeNiro. He’s one of my early childhood icons and watching him in this movie, I felt genuinely embarrassed. The whole film doesn’t even work a basic “actionâ€ level. I’ll save you the trouble and simply summarize the following: Travolta shoots an arrow through DeNiro’s leg. DeNiro shoots an arrow through Travolta’s cheek and then proceeds to waterboard him with salty lemonade (this is accompanied with a long monologue about how when life gives you lemons…). Travolta captures DeNiro with a makeshift rope trap and mutters to himself in that awful Serbian accent. DeNiro escapes, and eventually stabs Travolta with a broken arrowhead. And in the end neither of them kills the other… It’s the cinematic equivalent of blue balls. When they finally get to the climactic showdown, no one dies. They even include the clichÃ© of “Shoot me. Do it. Pull the trigger!â€ And after they forgive each other, DeNiro consoles himself with a joke about blowjobs.
Please do not consider buying or rent this movie. Don’t even bother pirating it.-Naman Pham